I scarcely recall my life from before.
Shadowed memories of Daggerfall; recollections of sheltering beneath the towering fungal growths of Morrowind. I still wake most nights convinced I have been dragged cruelly into the Daedric realms; other mornings I shiver myself awake as the memories of the snows of Skyrim melt beneath the light of another dawn.
Tamriel. I am here, this much is certain. As for when? Of that I am less sure. The hooded figure tells me I am some kind of harbinger, a saviour even. I am less convinced of that, in part because of what I have seen since returning to this land.
For truly, it is a land of heroes.
And I am surely the least of them.
I stroll self-consciously around Vulkhel Guard in my soul-shriven pants, awed by what I see. Mighty warriors in lava-infused armour; mages who idly call down elemental wonders from the skies. Incredible heroes, astride fantastic beasts (oh, how I wish I knew where to find them).
From what I have been able to tell from my short time here, there are three hubs of activity in the town. First, the merchants by the shore, taking advantage of the settlement’s prime trade location. I have struck up a professional yet amicable relationship with Zibam, an exotic Khajit who is not only willing to exchange my humble finds for gold, but also sell me all manner of potions, glyphs and accoutrements he tells me will help me on my travels. He even adeptly repairs my mudcrab-cracked armour without complaint, and for - he assures me - a very reasonable fee.
Next there is the crafting district. Though the intricacies of forging weapons, creating armour and combining runes and ingredients are a mystery to me, something tells me I will spend much of my time here in future, especially should I want to venture into lands more treacherous than Auridon (though believe me, dear reader, Auridon is plenty treacherous enough for me at present!)
Last, the wayshrine. Flanked on one side by the stables and on the other by Mara’s Kiss inn, it is another location I expect to become a regular at, not least because my spartan and cramped lodgings are within that very tavern. I dream of one day being able to afford an abode with room enough to swing a Khajit in, but that dream seems very far off for now - I barely have enough gold to purchase the most basic of foodstuffs from Zibam!
But, for now, Vulkhel Guard is home. With its ample facilities, handy proximity to the hooded figure’s mysterious cave, and prime spot from which to explore the rest of Auridon, this town will, I feel, be a very suitable base for my impending adventures.
Most of all, however, what gives me hope for my uncertain future in Tamriel are my fellow adventurers. Seldom have I encountered a more friendly, helpful and entertaining group of humanoids!
Why, only yesterday, one approached and asked if I would like assistance in ‘clearing’ Elden Hollow. I thought the wood elf was speaking in jest: I have heard of the place and know only the most foolish would dare to enter with a hope of survival. But whether it was something in the way the bosmer spoke, or her obvious mastery of the bow, I know not: but I began to believe at last that such foreboding places are perhaps not only the destination of the foolish, but also of the brave.
- Karel Ilysse, Warden of the Altmer (and apparently The Vestige)